Connections Between Participation and Protection in the UN Security Council’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda
Funded by the International Peace Institute (IPI) in New York
Investigator Professor Aisling Swaine, Professor of Gender Studies, UCD School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice; Email: Aisling.Swaine@ucd.ie with Principal Investigator Dr Catherine Turner, Associate Professor in law. She is the deputy director of the Durham Global Security Institute, and a member of the Law and Global Justice Research Cluster in Durham Law School. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The UN Security Council’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPS) is broadly constructed to advance gender equality across four pillars of Participation, Prevention, Protection and Relief & Recovery. Its ‘Participation’ pillar aims to increase the women’s role, leadership and influence in all aspects of global peace and security governance, and post-conflict peacebuilding. However, the gendered risks to personal security that women face when they do participate has largely been overlooked, and the agenda’s ‘Protection’ pillar has failed to address the protection barriers that women encounter as a result of their leadership roles. Using the case study of women in leadership at multi-levels in Northern Ireland, this research analyses the challenges to women’s full participation presented by protection-related risks. It exposes and examines the false binary between the participation of women as leaders with agency and the protection of women as victims of conflict, identifies the gendered, context-specific, and conflict-related protection risks that accompany women’s participation and critically analyses the link between the harms women experience and their low levels of representation in public life.
The research analyses the relationship between women’s participation in public life and related gendered and conflict-related protection risks. It asks the following questions:
What protection risks do women in leadership face when they participate in conflict resolution or peacebuilding activities? How do these risks vary based on specific characteristics of the women?
- What support structures (e.g., national government policies and international guidelines), if any, are available to women to ensure their protection?
- How can better links be forged between policies that focus on protection and those on participation to enable more women to participate in conflict resolution and peacebuilding?
- What successful strategies have women peacebuilders used to mitigate these risks?
- What are future areas in need of deeper research related to protection and participation?
Outputs and Publications
Funded by the International Peace Institute (IPI) in New York, the project has produced a global policy research publication published by the IPI. You can download the complete report here
The launch of the paper at an IPI Global Policy Forum: Risks and Barriers to Women’s Participation in Northern Ireland: You can watch the YouTube video here
Further journal articles are forthcoming.